Straw Bale Gardening

an update.

Pacific Northwest Organic Gardening, 2015 Plan, Crop Rotation -

Because I know you guys are just as excited as I am about what’s in my garden this year šŸ™‚ Here’s the final game plan for growing season 2015. The large square is the main bed and the three beige beds are the straw bales. I am also experimenting with a small section on the patio but it’s becoming more of a slug feeding station vs. a garden at this point. (more…)


bale’d up.

Row cover, Burien, straw bale gardening -
We’re getting a little cray cray up in here! Officially planted round no. 1 in the main garden over the weekend with the help of my sis, Liz. Stuff that went in the ground: snap peas, snow peas, sweet peas, two kinds of carrots, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce and arugula. Phew.She also joined me in my trek out to Burien to pick up three straw bales for my attempt at straw bale gardening. I’ve got about two weeks of conditioning with these bad boys then they’ll also be ready to plant. For those of you who think I’m nuts…..straw bale gardening is a way to garden if you have crappy or no soil. My plan was to build a nice stone walled bed in this location, but other things took precedent this year. My plan is to build that bed next year then transplant my raspberries there so they’ll be nice and contained.
In the meantime, I’m doing my own little garden experiment with these. From what I’ve read you 1) need straw NOT hay bales 2) they need to be “conditioned” ie. hit with lots of water and fertilizer to get them to start composting 3) sprinkled with some good soil 4) and then planted directly into. Seems easy enough. Stay tuned to see how this works out for me!

yard werk.

Pacific Northwest Gardening, Organic, Springtime prep -

Top: A work in progress. Bottom (left to right): Every gardener needs a machete!, Stella checking out our new pear tree, I have a seed hording problem.

Well it’s that time again! Though this time seems to be earlier than most years – hello warmest February ever. Sheesh. This sunny weather has been putting me into yard/garden overdrive these days. Every weekend has had at least one full day of yard work. I even got sun burned the other day – WTF Seattle? I thought I would have a few more weeks of hibernation, guess not. So in preparation of growing season 2015, here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

Here’s what’s been done:

  • Pruned fig tree and grape vines
  • Pruned and re-strung raspberries
  • Pruned camellia, hydrangeas, pine tree and rhodies (thanks Aunt Susan!
  • Cleaned up peony bed and added two more bushes (yay!)
  • Added strawberries to the herb bed
  • Planted 3 apple trees along fence line
  • Planted 1 three-in-one pear tree on east side of house (how genius is that! self-pollinating.)
  • Planted round 1 of seeds near herb bed
  • Made a bad ass hippie stick art thing
  • Added landscape rocks to end of herb bed to make it look more finished
  • Picked up 10 bags of moo doo for veggies – highly recommend Sayers Fuel on Rainier

Here’s what’s left to do:

  • Buy blueberries for the blueberry patch – getting these bad boys at the Seattle Tilth Edible Plant Sale on March 14!
  • Straw bale garden alongside the shed – too lazy to make a real garden bed this year, so this will do
  • Figure out where to plant my 3 new dahlias
  • Prune plum tree
  • Finish veggie garden layout
  • Plant more seeds!
  • Make more fun hippie stick art!

Phew! That’s it for now. What have you been up to in your yard these days?

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